When David was a baby, a lady in the church told me that if Lee had the baby and was making him squirm and fuss, I shouldn’t immediately rush over and take him away. Even though Lee’s job involved holding babies all day, he didn’t know David, and more than once I found myself tempted to rush in and show Lee how it was done. I didn’t always win that battle.
This lady’s reasoning was that, if daddies grow up being hands-off with their children (and mommies do just fine with young children, usually), then it will be very difficult for them to step into a different role when they are teens, and mommies need help. This may especially be true when daddies don’t spend extended time with their children on a daily basis.
We don’t learn to lead without making mistakes, so we wives have to hold back and let our husbands learn. Better for them to learn when the problems are infant and preschooler sized, and not adolescent sized.
One of the ways that I’m attempting to keep the biblical authority structure healthy and intact is by sending my children to Lee when they ask questions while he’s around. I try to be sensitive when Lee has had a stressful day, but often when the kids want to know something and their dad is home, I tell them to ask daddy. I particularly direct them to dad when they’re asking permission for something, or asking knowledge questions, or asking for something to be fixed.
On Sunday, I saw a glimpse of the fruit of this practice. David wanted to know if he could play outside after church. He got two words out while talking to me, stopped, and then asked his dad. I got a little giddy, although maybe it’s not that big of a deal.
Michelle, your blog is always an encouragement to me. I struggle with this one too. It is hard for me to step back and let daddy do it “his way.” My two-year-old tends to get very upset when things are not done the way they “always” are done. I am trying to teach her that daddy might do something differently than mommy and that’s ok (i.e., the steps of brushing teeth may be out of order when daddy is putting her to bed). I am going to pray that I can find ways to allow daddy to lead the family more, especially as my two-year-old gets older.
On a side note, there are times I wish I could pick your hubby’s brain about pediatric issues! I need a Christian pediatrician near me I can ask all of my questions! I like my pediatrician, but you always wonder if they really have your kid’s best interests at heart, you know? (well you probably don’t know, but you know what I mean.)
Thanks, Nicole. I think this is a great example of what I was trying to say. We can pray for each other! As well, you probably knew that Lee has a blog but never writes on it. Perhaps if you had a good question (via email), he’d take the time to post a response. But no promises. 🙂